4 Questions to Answer When Facing Healthcare Consumerism

patients waiting in a healthcare clinic wait room

Why do patients choose your organization? It’s a question that just about every hospital faces when confronting consumerism. With more and more patients becoming involved in their individual care, consumerism poses challenges for healthcare organizations working to stay relevant in their communities. This may mean that hospitals may have to offer new convenient services to not only enhance patient experience, but ensure those patients continue to choose them. With that in mind, walking through our questions will help your organization continue to stay a top choice in your community.

Consumerism Grows the Demand for Greater Transparency, Patient Access, Patient Experience and Quality Care

Whether expectations for patient experiences are being pushed by the consumers, other industries, or commercial and governmental payers, consumerism in healthcare is real and increasing every day. Research shows that the 65+ population has been slowest to adopt key facets of consumerism, but the 18-29 age group is increasingly focusing on owning their individual care. In between the bookends, approach varies by consumer, but it is important to know and understand that factors such as cost, quality care, location, and patient access are being considered when an individual makes a healthcare decision. This sharpened focus on price, ease of finding the right care in search, usable websites, and more can be tracked back to increasing use of high deductible plans, reporting of quality outcomes, and the growing desire for timely access. Additionally, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has an effect here, as their recent mandate for systems and hospitals to provide prices on their individual websites has only further validated this movement.

Key things that are driving consumerism:

  • Increasing ownership of high deductible plans – this is creating the drive for patients to be more involved in their care.
  • Transparency of price – hospitals should have had prices published by the beginning of 2019. Medicare also released procedure price lookup on their website.
  • Access – patients are more willing to take control of their care, particularly in the care that is elective and can be planned.
  • Reporting of outcomes – transparency in quality outcome measures along with price.

As consumerism increases in healthcare, you have one important question to ask. How will the system you are a part of come out on top and consistently stay relevant to your community?

Your Potential to Thrive

To help you answer the question above, walk through the series of questions below:

Building upon the success of previous initiatives, consumerism can be linked very closely with enhancing patient experience. Improving in this area may mean making changes to key things such as clinic hours, virtual access and online test result access. Beyond addressing challenges within your own market, you’ll need to be prepared to compete against the “disruptors” entering our industry in areas such as retail clinics, or even more recently, Amazon’s entrance into the big data space of EHRs.

Confronting consumerism can be a difficult task when working to improve satisfaction and providing the best care to your communities. With consumers’ shifting preferences and new expectations, healthcare organizations must adjust their strategies to be more consumer-savvy. Would you like to learn how your organization can adapt to focusing on patient experience and satisfaction while offering price and quality transparency? Our Championing Consumerism whitepaper will reveal the five features of today’s healthcare consumer and how you can develop solutions for your hospital’s market. Download it today.